As an educator and as a medical professional, I often get the question about what to do when a pediatric patient requires a pediatric blood pressure cuff. They frequently seek this particular method for their physician’s diagnosis of anemia. You might think that this is a very unimportant medical need, but you’d be wrong.
One of my own patients was a very elementary-school kid who was missing his tonsils. He was having a low blood count and just “looked” unhealthy to me. We started testing him for anemia and while he did have a low count, he was testing on the low end of normal. That’s when I noticed that his blood pressure was climbing a bit on its own.
We quickly confirmed what we thought – that he had an abnormally low blood pressure. Unfortunately, his physician didn’t really know what to do with it. A pediatric blood pressure cuff was necessary to correct the issue and thankfully it wasn’t life threatening or difficult to diagnose.
Many folks in these situations are seeing a pediatrician as they don’t really know how to confirm that they have a child who is testing high blood pressure. High blood pressure in children can cause strokes, heart attacks, and even death.
Although many physicians may try to deny this, and especially if the child is younger, a normal adult blood pressure can be the result of an elevated blood pressure in children. If you suspect your child is having a high blood pressure, then you need to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible.
I remember hearing that a friend of mine had to go to the emergency room after a seizure after her toddler had a stroke. While she knew her kid was having a seizure, she didn’t realize the seriousness of the issue. During the course of the consultation, her pediatrician informed her that the child was actually suffering from a lot of damage to his brain due to the stroke.
I recall that her pediatrician then put the pediatric blood pressure cuff around her child’s arm to test her blood pressure. With this initial screening, the diagnosis was made of this condition in a relatively short period of time.
So, parents that are having concerns with their children now need to be aware that they can get their kids to the hospital room and have an easy way to identify that their blood pressure is elevated. Because most children are not quite at the high end of normal, they can easily be diagnosed by this simple test. Parents who find themselves concerned about their child’s health needs can also see a pediatrician about more sophisticated testing.
The best advice I can give parents that are concerned with their child’s blood pressure is to see a pediatrician immediately. It would be extremely helpful if your pediatrician could confirm with you that this testing is something you will need, but you should never make a diagnosis of a blood pressure elevation without getting it tested.
If you don’t believe that your child’s health is in jeopardy, then you really shouldn’t be taking any chances. Instead, just ask your pediatrician to do a blood pressure test for you.
You don’t want to leave your child’s side alone. You never know when something bad could happen. And while the pediatric blood pressure cuff is not a substitute for emergency services, it can help save your child’s life.
While most hospitals only have a unit available to test for blood pressure, if your pediatrician does not have one, then he should get one. Don’t let your family’s and children’s health to be a victim. Take some proactive measures today to protect them.